Mityana Experience 2000

Northumberland Scouts have had links with Uganda since the late 1980s first with its remarkable building of a Training Headquarters at the Uganda Scouts National Camp Site at Kaazi and with the twinning of Seaton Valley District and the Scouts in Mityana. Why was the building of the Training Headquarters remarkable? It was built in record time and ahead of UK Scouts involvement in Uganda. Unite quickly followed the Northumberland initiative.

In 1988 the monies which Northumberland Scouts had a retained to maintain the Kaazi Centre ran out and at the same time Seaton Valley District's realationship with Mityana seemed to be at an end due to reorganisations in Scouting in Northumberland. However a small core of Leaders and Venture Scouts were keen to see the relationship continue and a visit in 1988 proved that it should indeed continue. As a result the Mityana Experience was born.

It was decided in consultation with the local authorities in Mityana and Scout HQ in Kampala that there should be three elements to the 2000 project:

The Cultural Team went into Mityana Secondary School teaching about life in the UK and in particular in Northumberland. In 3, 2 hours sesions every day learnt about life, housing, food, geography industry in formal teaching, slide shows, discussions, a quiz, the younger ones produced a massive collage whilst the older ones talked and talked. In all l500 students were given an education in UK life that it might have taken local teachers years to impart. Such was the enthusiasm of the students to learn that their teachers from the UK got no rest during lunch breaks or after normal school hours.

News of the slide show spread and it had to be repeated for staff, HOHO Parents and families. One evening 125 were entertained with the Northumberland Experience !

the First Aide Team working in conjunction with the Red Cross went into more than a dozen schools to teach basic and sometimes quite advanced First Aid procedures. Again news spread and the Team found themselves teaching at the local hospital, Police and other local community groups.

The Adventure Playground Team, with several "Bob the Builder" types, constructed an Adventure Playground for the students at the Mityana Secondary School and also provided seats for the older children to use as a reading area under the shade of the trees. So quick were the "Bobs" that they moved on to Mityana Hospital and built swings for the children and garden seats for parents to relax. Never once during daylight hours were the swings and adventure playground left unused, even during heavy rain!

As a final gesture the Mini-Bus which the Teams had purchased to provide much needed transport was handed over to Friends of Scouting for use by the local Scouts and the Community.

Now to 2002 !

To contact the organisers of the Mityana Experience email  Geoff Breeden    

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